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Written by Ronald Tibbetts   
Wednesday, 07 November 2007
Table of Contents: Page Index
VIZO Master Panel II Expansion Interface
Closer Look: Master Panel II
Detailed Features: Master Panel II
Testing and Results
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Testing & Results

Testing Methodology

To test if I really needed to "go to the back or not", I wanted to see if using the Master Panel II had any effect on performance regarding the ports I use most often; eSATA and USB 2.0. I also heavily make use of my digital camera and wondered if bypassing its docking station I could cut the time it takes to transfer images to my PC.

Concerning the tests, I used Simply Software's HD Tach v3.0.4.0 Quick Bench (8MB zones). HD Tach is a low level hardware benchmark for random access read/write storage devices such as hard drives, removable drives (ZIP/JAZZ), flash devices, and RAID arrays. HD Tach uses custom device drivers and other low level Windows interfaces to bypass as many layers of software as possible and get as close to the physical performance of the device possible.

For the eSATA and USB 2.0 I used my Vantec external HDD enclosure that supports eSATA and USB 2.0 transfers. The drive I chose for the tests was a single Western Digital Raptor 74GB 16MB Cache 10k RPM.

For the Compact Flash (CF) reader I used a SanDisc 2GB CF Card, doing a direct comparison with my HP Photosmart R967 Digital Camera on its docking station, setting the camera to appear as a disc drive under Windows. Both the Card Reader and HP docking station connect via USB 2.0.

Test System

  • Motherboard: ASRock 4CoreDual-VSTA (VIA Apollo PT880 Ultra) BIOS Date 7/25/07
  • Processor: Intel E6600 Core 2 Duo 2.44GHz (266 MHz FSB)
  • Cooling: Swiftech H20-220 Apex Ultra+ Custom Water Cooling Kit
  • Memory: 2 GB (1,024 MB x2 modules) OCZ OCZ26671024ELGEGXT DDR2 SDRAM @ 533MHz
  • Video: GeCube X1950XT Core @ 750 vRAM @ 850
  • Audio: SB X-FI
  • Hard Disk: 2xWD RAPTOR 74GB 16MB Cache Raid 0 10,000rpm
  • Optical Drive: SONY DVD RW DRU-830A
  • Enclosure: Lian Li PC-60 ATX Case with 4x80mm cooling fans
  • PSU: Ultra X-Connect 500Watt modular cables
  • Operating System: Windows XP Professional SP-2 with IE7 (OS Version 5.1.2600 WinXP Retail)

Master Panel II Results

VIZO Master Panel II Expansion Interface

Since the eSATA is no more than a pass-through from the motherboard, there should be no difference with either port. The minor differences that were noted are likely due to normal variances in the test.

VIZO Master Panel II Expansion Interface

Here the Master Panel really shines, besting the Average transfer rate of the HP camera by almost 83%, and Random Access by more then 18.3%. With ~3MB average image size, that's no small drop in the bucket, and will cut image uploading time drastically.

VIZO Master Panel II Expansion Interface

Also being a straight pass-through the USB 2.0 test shows there is no difference compared to the on-board ports.

Giving you all the functionality of your on-board ports while being easily accessible is the aim of the Master Panel II. And it does just that with no tricks, just a simple design that uses a pass-through method to bring needed ports up front. I was quite surprised with the CF card results, and pleased with a way to get images to my PC faster.



 

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